Climate change is the long-term warming of the planet caused by the increase of certain gases, like carbon dioxide, in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap heat from the sun, kind of like how a blanket keeps you warm at night, and this extra heat is causing the Earth’s temperature to rise.
One way to explain this to a ten-year-old is to think about how the weather can change from day to day or even hour to hour. Just like the weather can change, the climate (or average weather) of a place can also change over time. Climate change is happening because we are adding more and more of these heat-trapping gases to the air, which is making the Earth warmer and warmer.
This might not seem like a big deal, but the Earth’s climate is really important because it affects everything from the air we breathe and the water we drink, to the plants and animals that live all around us. A changing climate can cause problems like more frequent heatwaves, droughts, and storms, which can be hard on people, plants, and animals.
It’s important that we try to reduce the amount of heat-trapping gases we’re putting into the air and find ways to live more sustainably so we can help slow down climate change and protect the Earth for future generations.